We hope that you all have had a lovely summer holiday and that the children are looking forward to coming back to Playgroup on Monday. We are looking forward to getting to know all of the new children and their families and seeing all of the familiar faces back again.
Our Committee chairs Claire and Liz will be in touch with you all to tell you about the important role the Committee plays in the running of the Playgroup and how you can get involved. We could not operate without a Committee so please consider how you could help out.
We also have a parent volunteer rota which you can sign up to, to come and spend the session with your child at Playgroup. This really does make all the difference to us. As well as being able to share in your child’s learning we really appreciate the help an extra pair of hands gives us. Please could we ask you all to sign up for a session to help again this coming term. The parent helper rota will be up on the door so please book yourselves in for a slot. We would be grateful for parents of children who are already at playgroup to help out by signing up to help out in the first few weeks whilst we have new children settling in.
A new Key Person list will be on display on the planning board in the hall. If your child is new please check the list to find out who your child’s key person is. If your child was with us last year their Key Person may also have changed so please check the board as well. We have information to give out to new parents (and existing if you would like) on the role of the Key Person. Please see Lisa, for this information.
We also have an All About Me document for new parents to fill in about their child. If you have not already been given one then please can you collect one from us on your child’s first day. Can new parents/carers please bring in the registration form you have been sent with you on your child’s first day if you have not already sent it back to us. This is really important as it contains information we need to know about your child and you will not be able to leave them with us if we don’t have it. Thank you.
Each child has their own Learning Journey which is kept in their own drawer at the front of the hall. Please feel free to look at these at any time, although at drop off is better than at pick up if possible, or a day when you are the parent volunteer is even better. For those of you who are unaware we keep records of your child’s development in the form of observations, photographs and any work they have done in their books as well as the development records we do three times a year. Please could we ask you to bring in any home learning that your child has done for us to put in their book. This gives us a bigger picture of your child’s development as they may be doing things at home they do not show us at playgroup.
Wow notes are also there to be filled in (kept on the table in the lobby) for anything special your child has done. These will be shared at carpet time and then added to your child’s learning journal.
The Government provides a free entitlement for all 3 and 4 year olds to attend an early years provider, starting the term after their 3rd birthday. Children are entitled to 15 hours free childcare. If your child is now eligible to receive their funded hours (that is, if their 3rd birthday fell between 1st April and 31st August) then you will need to fill in a form (I have them all ready). Children from families with working parents/carers are now eligible to claim up to 30 hours funding if you meet certain criteria. I have attached the information about the 30 hours offer with this newsletter. Any questions about it please ask me. If your child attends more than one setting you are able to choose what hours you claim in each setting. This can be stated on the form. I do need to see their birth certificate before I can send the forms off so if you could bring that in with you on your child’s first day then that would be very helpful. If your child is already receiving their funding then all I need from you is a signature to confirm their hours on a different form. It is important that we have all the forms filled out as soon as possible into the new term so funding is not delayed. If your child is not yet eligible for their funding then you will receive a bill for the hours they attend from our new Treasurer Louisa. Prompt payment of bills is very important and helps her a lot!
I have also attached with this email information about the Early Years Pupil Premium. If you think that your child may qualify for this then please let me know.
We will be concentrating in the first term on settling in and getting the children used to our daily routine. Returning children may also need help remembering the routine of the day and the rules of playgroup that they all helped to put together last year. We will be reminding ourselves of these in the first weeks back. We will also be learning all about the new children and their families and looking at the changing season.
Our topics this term will be:
09th– 27th September Settling in
30th September-27th October Autumn
Pre School groups. The more focused activities we do with our pre-schoolers will begin in Term 2.
Please could you ensure that you send your child in with suitable clothing for the changing weather, particularly a rain jacket/coat for outdoor play. We try to go out in all weathers (almost) so a pair of named wellington boots that could be brought in each session (or even better left at playgroup) is essential. Please can we also ask you to bring a bag with a change of clothes in for your child incase of accidents or if they get wet outside or playing with the water play etc.
We are continuing with our rolling snack system so please can children bring a piece of fruit/vegetable to share for snack in the morning. The children really enjoyed the variety of fruits and vegetables that were bought in last year and it would be great to see this continue. This, of course, will continue to be supplemented with healthy carbohydrate options and milk or water provided by playgroup. For those who are staying for lunch we would encourage a healthy packed lunch box. Please can we have no chocolate bars or sweets in the children’s lunches. Please also be aware that we are now a nut free setting.
Drop off and pick up
When you drop your child off in the morning the front door will be locked for safeguarding purposes. Please can we ask you to ring the bell when you arrive and a staff member will let you in. Only staff members are to lock and unlock the front door. When you are ready to leave please can you let a member of staff know so that they can come and let you out and then lock the door after you. Can we ask that you do not let yourself out as the door must be locked after you, and also that parents do not let other parents in and out as staff members are responsible for making sure the door is always locked.
When you drop off in the morning please note that if your child is down to start at 9 o clock we will not be able to let you into the main hall until this time. You are welcome to come in and wait in the lobby with your child until this time but we cannot let you into the main hall.
At pick up time we will have all the children on the carpet in the main hall ready to go home. We do not allow parents/carers to come into the main hall at this busy time of the day for safeguarding reasons so you must wait in the lobby for your child to be handed over. A staff member will be at the inner door to hand your children over to you so please can we ask you to wait in the lobby and not try to come into the main hall as this helps with a smoother handover. Obviously if you wish to speak to a member of staff at this time of day then please mention this to the staff member on the door and after all the children have been handed over we will be free to speak.
Prompt pick up
When you are collecting your child from Playgroup please can we ask you to be respectful of other users who may be in the hall at the same time as us. On a Tuesday there is a bridge club in the side room. We would be grateful if you could collect your child quietly and promptly so as not to disturb them. There are also other groups who are waiting on some days to come into the hall directly after us so prompt pick up is really important.
The church has kindly allowed us to continue to park in the car park next door but this is only for drop off and pick up. We are unable to leave cars there during the session. Can we please ask everybody to be especially careful when driving into and out of the carpark as well as watching your children when cars are moving as the space is small and there is not a lot of room to move around. Please also be aware of the white posts they have put in to stop cars driving on the grass.
Show and Tell
Last year we introduced a show and tell bag that we send home in turn with the children so that they can bring something in from home to share at carpet time if they would like to. Toys from home bought in all the time can be a distraction from your child’s enjoyment of being at playgroup. Last year we introduced the show and tell bag so that all children in turn have the opportunity to share something with their friends at carpet time. Thank you for your cooperation with this.
Of course if your child needs a settling toy or blanket they can bring these in and they can be kept in their bag or drawer where we can find them if needed.
Thank you for your patience and your continued support. We look forward to seeing you all next week.
Lisa, Emma, Cara and Harrietxx xx